Wednesday, June 11, 2003

facing pain

I was thinking about why I keep going back even though it is painful, and I realized that connected with the idea that forgiveness is somehow about being willing to absorb the pain so it doesn't keep bouncing between people doing more harm. But there are several dangers in saying that difficult experiences come out for the best. On the one side, it can lead towards chosing unnecessary pain out of a kind of spiritual masochism. On the other side, people can say "it was a blessing" about some painful situation as a way of dismissing or avoiding the pain. The right to get angry needs to come first. And while the situation is not one we would choose, usually there needs to be some choice to accept the pain before it can be redemptive.

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